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Faith and reason in a post secular age

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The problems that this article seeks to address are those that are raised in the context of the bilateralism that is established when we think in terms of secularism as primarily orientated towards reason and post secularism, towards faith. The objective of the article is to show that the distinction between the two can be collapsed. Post secularism, for the purposes of this article it will be argued, centres on a challenge to explanations dominated by reason, and a re-emphasis on the role of faith in human understanding. Both secularist and post secularist perspectives however are based on underlying assumptions that cannot be guaranteed by reason but at the same time are accountable to rational discussion. In the case of ‘rational scientific’ as oppose to ‘faith based religious’ forms of belief, it will be argued that these forms of belief relate to different kinds of purpose, and that in this context the one cannot be conflated to the other. Scientific belief aims at a totality in objective understanding that cannot be complemented or completed by religious belief. At the same time, science can have nothing to say about the questions and activities that are centred on the spiritual dimension in human experience, that is the appropriate domain of religious belief. Within the context of religious and scientific beliefs respectively there are varied perspectives, culturally or historically determined that can be substantially reconciled by the application of reflexive and rational discourse.
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Keywords: belief; communication acts; faith; language games; reason; reflexivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Professional Development, Faculty of Education,Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury,UK,

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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